you're reading...
TEam Member Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Laura Washington

What is your role on the TEam?

Instructional Coach at YES Prep Public Schools and KIPP Houston

Expert PowerPoint slide-maker

Where did you study? List all that apply.

Garfield High School in Seattle, WA

Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?

As a 20-something adult (no need for the actual number), I can still name every teacher that I had from kindergarten through high school. Other than close family members and friends, there has not been a single group of people who have had more influence on me than my teachers. I can think back and remember little “quirks” about each and every one. Ms. Jugum, my third grade teacher went bowling every week and would post her score on the board. If she bowled over 200, we would get a Friday celebration. She also instilled in me a love of poetry which was hard sell to an 8 year-old! My AP U.S. History teacher, Mr. Creighton, had the thickest glasses I had ever seen, and kept the whole class mesmerized through lectures about tariffs. I am passionate about education and teacher development because every teacher has the ability to be someone’s Ms. Jugum. All students need a teacher who will push them to their highest potential, and then push them a little bit further. Excellent teaching has a lasting impact on students, and to be a part of that in any capacity is more important than any other job in the world.

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you used in the classroom or that you frequently recommend to your teachers.

Feign ignorance! When the teacher pretends to make a mistake or not know what to do next, kids will jump out of their seats to “teach the teacher”. I loved to do this when I noticed the engagement levels starting to drop in class. I would skip a step or answer a math problem incorrectly, and within 5 seconds students would be sitting up straight with their hands in the air saying, “Miss! Miss!” I LOVED having my students correct me because it showed me that they were truly following along and kept me on my toes.

Students also love it when teachers model non-examples. In my class, I would model a routine or procedure, doing something wrong (usually something the class was struggling with), and then let the students give ME feedback about how I could improve. Without fail, students would respond by showing me how to correctly complete the procedure.

If you had to describe your work on the TEam in three words, what would they be?




What advice would you have for an educator that aspires to become an instructional leader?

Continue to hone your craft in the classroom, be humble enough to reach out to people around you for support, and never forget that you are in education for the STUDENTS!

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy Tuesday Trivia Nights with co-workers where we dominate the competition (most of the time) and show-off our knowledge of completely random topics. I also enjoy flying around with my favorite pilot who can bring the travel channel to life (via stand-by seats). I would also like to get back into playing volleyball one day soon!

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?

The “I TE” shirt is my favorite because it was the first one that I ever got, and signified that apparel-wise I was officially a part of an amazing and inspiring TEam.



3 thoughts on “TEam Member Spotlight: Laura Washington

  1. LOVE this, Laura! And yes, you are an expert power-point slide maker:-) lol

    Posted by Patty | May 17, 2012, 10:50 am
  2. I love your picture Laura!

    Posted by Ronda Harding Powell | May 22, 2012, 1:23 pm


  1. Pingback: Dear IC…The Honeymoon Period is Over?! « The Teaching Excellence Program - October 26, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: